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   Inside Out - South East: Monday February 14, 2005


Jade Hobbs
Jade Hobbs died crossing the road by her house

Four years ago Caroline Hobbs suffered a double tragedy. Her mother and daughter were both killed crossing the road outside her house.

But Caroline is determined to keep their memories alive.

First she petitioned for a safe crossing by her house, so other families would not suffer the same tragic loss.

Now she is turning to Spiritualism to keep in contact with her dead daughter.

The Accident

On the 16th December 2000, Margaret Kuwertz decided to pop to the local shops with her granddaughter Jade Hobbs.

The shops lay on the other side of A249 which cuts through Detling, Kent. Caroline lives by the side of the dual-carriageway.

More than 30,000 vehicles use the road every day. It was a dangerous road for pedestrians to use, as there were few safe places to cross. It has been the scene of dozens of injuries a year.

But Jade and her grandmother did attempt to cross. Caroline says;

"Mum must've thought they could get across, and hadn't seen the other car. And they were actually nearly across when the car hit them."

Jade and her grandmother both died at the scene. Margaret was 79-years-old, Jade just eight.

A safe place to cross

Jade's Crossing
"It's a wonderful memorial to mum and Jade."
Caroline Hobbs, talking about Jade's Crossing

Today it's safer to cross the Detling bypass.

After the accident Caroline started campaigning for a footbridge over the road.

Kent County Council at first refused to build a bridge because of the cost.

Caroline set up a charity to raise money - the Jade's Crossing Fund.
It raised £75,000 which it contributed to the bridge's £1.1million building costs.

Eighteen months later the footbridge was built over the dual carriageway.

The bridge carries a symbol of a ballerina on it in remembrance of Jade. Jade loved to dance.

"It makes me very proud of the daughter I had and I loved and I know no one will ever forget her - you know she didn't die in vain."

Now the bridge is finished the Jade's Crossing Fund works to promote road safety throughout Kent.

It sponsored a video highlighting the issue which has been sent to every secondary school in the county.

A bridge to the spirit world

Psychic fair organised by Caroline
Caroline organises psychic fairs to raise money for her charity

But Caroline couldn't leave it there. She wanted to build a bridge to the spirit world. She needed to get in contact with Jade.

Caroline now organises regular psychic fairs in Detling Village Hall. Any money raised goes to her charity.

She has also been seeing mediums in an attempt to communicate with Jade.

Caroline feels there is something she needs to know;

"Like every parent that's lost a child you want to know that you weren't to blame for any reason and most of all you need to know they're still about you."

tarot reading
The Tarot is a traditional tool used by psychics

But Caroline's quite well known in her community. She is wary of consulting a local medium because her story is well known - she wants to consult a medium that doesn't know about Jade's tragic death.

She gets in touch with Ronnie Buckingham, a medium who lives in France and as unlikely to be familiar with Caroline's story.

They met up and Ronnie attempted to make contact with the spirit world. Ronnie doesn't know who Caroline is trying to locate, but this is what he sees:

Ronnie Buckingham
What I'm going to say to you is that this was an accident in front of the house or near the house. So she would've either ran through the front gate or would've been with someone and slipped away from that person. Maybe an elderly person - either grandmother. Her grandmother you would understand that?
Caroline Hobbs
Ronnie Buckingham
Or something like this. I feel I'm near a zebra crossing so I don't know if that's correct, that she was being taken to somewhere or she stepped out in front of maybe a van or a car. Would that make sense to you?
Caroline Hobbs
Yeah, yeah.

So Ronnie manages to describe the accident but there's one thing that Caroline is desperate to know - "I need to know my daughter didn't go through pain".

Caroline Hobbs
"I need to know my daughter didn't go through pain."
Caroline Hobbs
Ronnie Buckingham
She actually makes me aware that she didn't feel anything, and yet I felt she passed later on, does that make sense to you.
Caroline Hobbs
We're not sure.
Ronnie Buckingham
All that she's saying to me is that she wasn't aware of the pain.

Ronnie has reassured Caroline that her daughter didn't suffer. But any medium would feel the job's not finished until he's got a name;

Ronnie Buckingham
At the back of my mind I'm still trying to ask her her name. And I just feel that it's a name that's been on television or someone well known has this name, you understand me. Like a Jade or a - am I Jade?
Caroline Hobbs
Caroline Hobbs meets Ronnie Buckingham
"I really believe that it's possible to get in touch with people on the other side. In the after life."
Caroline Hobbs
Ronnie Buckingham
Am I right?
Caroline Hobbs
Ronnie Buckingham
Because she just showed me the Jade from Big Brother.
Caroline Hobbs
Ronnie Buckingham
And she said this is me. Oh it's lovely, isn't it lovely?

And so has her talk with Ronnie given Caroline a sense of closure?

"I'm not sure about closure would be the word to say because I think when you lose somebody so close that you're always looking for something.

"However, I think Jade's up there happy and dancing with the angels."

See also ...

On the rest of Inside Out

On the rest of the web
Jade's Crossing Fund
Caroline Hobbs' story
Pride of Britain - Caroline Hobbs

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

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